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Sunday December 24th 2006 < Back Print Page
Dragons Create History
The HALBRO Yorkshire County Cup Final between East Hull Dragons and Stanley Rangers saw one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the competition as the underdogs Dragons clinched a sensational win in the last minute of a pulsating final that ebbed and flowed the whole eighty minutes.

The win saw the Dragons become the first ‘A’ team to ever clinch this prestigious trophy in a classic game of two half’s with skipper Dean Cox diving in at the corner and James Ramsley’s magnificent touchline conversion settling the game.

It had all started so differently in the opening minute of the game as East Hull Dragons winger Lee James knocked on from the kick off. From the scrum Stanley Rangers attacked and were awarded a penalty ten meters from the try line. They decided to tap the penalty and two tackles later fullback Jon Cooper joined the line to go over in the corner.

Stand off Danny Grice missed the first of his two conversions but it didn’t seem to matter in the opening ten minutes of the games as Rangers swarmed all over the Dragons who couldn’t get out of their own half.

Slowly but surely the Dragons got into the game and looked the next likely scorers on the half hour attacking the Rangers line but winger Danny Duce intercepted and sprinted ninety five meters to double the score in the corner thanks to a valiant chase back by the Dragons defence.

Three minutes from the break the Dragons should have halved the lead but James nightmare continued after he leapt high to take a miss man pass from stand off John McCracken. James crossed in the corner but instead of touching down he tried to run nearer to the posts for the kick but as he did so he was tackled by three Rangers defenders and held up on his back.

In the second half playing down the slope of the newly named Chris Moyles Stadium the Dragon began with a string of penalties to move them downfield and as a result of a high tackle in the 47th minute centre Liam Elvin kicked a penalty to put his side within a converted try of being level.
Those points breathed fire into the Dragons and they took the game to Rangers with halves McCracken and Danny Sharkett calling the shots as well as great runs from substitute Gareth Norris operating at half back. Norris brought the forwards into play especially second row forward Dale Blakely who head was bandaged from the spoils of war in the first half.

Blakely showed his strength and power in the 54th minute after two of his colleagues had been held up in that set of six. Blakely made no mistake though as he drove over from the play the ball from ten meters despite the best efforts of three Stanley defenders around his body. Elvin couldn’t add the extras but now Rangers were having difficulty getting out of there half.

More indiscipline gave the Dragons a penalty 47 meters out after 63 minutes and prop James Ramsley decided to kick for goal to level the game. The kick was meters short and Rangers regained possession drove back upfield and two minutes later they were awarded a penalty. Scrum half Gareth Whitehead who had a superb game with the rest of his side kicked the goal to give his side a four point lead.

The game got better and better and Rangers thought they had increased their lead when hooker Stuart Godfrey got the slightest of touches on the ball in goal following a Whitehead grubber. But referee Wilf George ex pro player with Halifax, consulted with his line judge as he had done throughout the game and chalked off the score. But with nine minutes remaining a Danny Grice drop goal on the last tackle in front of the posts gave Rangers a five lead.

They then attacked the Dragons line on three successive sets but couldn’t go over the line when perhaps a drop goal attempt may have proved the better option. More Rangers indiscipline in the closing minutes gave Dragons a penalty and a final chance to attack twenty meters away. As the tackles went in it looked as if Rangers would hold out but McCracken unleashed a long ball out to skipper Cox. Although he had an overlap Cox bravely dived for the line with defenders in front of him to go in at the corner.

George gave the try and the Dragons were one point behind as the seconds ticked into injury time.

Ramsley composed himself on the touchline and struck a sweet right footer between the posts for a memorable conversion for his side to lead for the first time in the game by one point.

Rangers tried a short kick off but the Dragons were switched on for it and seconds later the game was over and the Dragons had created history in a classic win which was a great advert and showcase for the amateur game in front of a healthy 2000 plus gate.

Substitute Gareth Norris as named Man-of-the-Match and he was presented with his trophy by BARLA Yorkshire President Maurice Ollroyd

Dragons skipper Dean Cox said, “I always thought we had a chance playing down the slope. The boys dug in and when I got the pass I knew what I had to do and I dived in at the corner and I let my momentum take me over then it was a great kick from James who has done that before.”

Dragons James Ramsley said, “As soon as I had struck the kick from the touchline I knew it was going over I just turned around went back to he centre and heard the cheering crowd. It’s a fantastic win and the first time an ‘A’ team has won the HALBRO Yorkshire Cup.”


East Hull Dragons: 1. Mike Halenby, 2. Lee James, 3. Dean Cox, 4. Liam Elvin, 5. Graham Clark, 6. John McCracken, 7. Danny Sharkett, 8. Paul Roberts, 9. Ricky Broadbent, 10. James Ramsley, 11. Luke Brown, 12. Dale Blakely, 13. Mark Moore Subs: 14. Rich Longley, 15. Gareth Norris, 16. Dale Davidson, 17. Jody Docherty

Stanley Rangers: 1. Jon Cooper, 2. Carl Clawson, 3. Richard Catley, 4. Joe McDermott, 5. Danny Duce, 6. Danny Grice, 7. Gareth Whitehead, 8. Simon Carr, 9. Stuart Godfrey, 10. Andy Cattley, 11. Liam Crawley, 12. Mark Robinson, 13. Christopher Grice. Subs: 14. Craig Taylor, 15. Joe Burden, 16. Billy Maxwell, 17. David Brown

Steve Manning
BARLA Media Manager & PRO
The British Amateur Rugby League Association.
West Yorkshire House, 4 New North Parade, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. HD1 5JP, England
Tel: 01484 599113, Fax: 01484 510682, info@barla.org.uk
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